Second marriage of a woman without completing ‘iddat’ is not zina, says LHC
A man said his wife committed adultery by marrying without completing her iddat.
The Lahore High Court has ruled that a marriage without completing iddat cannot be treated as void and does not form the cognizable offense of adultery.
Iddat is a period spanning about four months after the separation between a Muslim married couple or death of the husband.
A man said his wife committed adultery by marrying without completing her iddat. Following this, Justice Ali Zia Bajwa explained that a woman’s marriage before completing her iddat period would be “irregular” but not void. Iddat refers to a time (four months and ten days) a woman has to observe after the nullification of a marriage.
Petitioner Ameer Bakhsh’s application for registration of a criminal case against his former wife and her new husband was dismissed.
He submitted that the respondent, Amina Bibi, was legally married and living in his house as his legally wedded wife. With mala fide intentions, she privately filed a case for dissolution of marriage and received it from a family court.
After obtaining the ex-parte decree, the petitioner said his ex-wife married Mohammad Ismail the next day without observing iddat as decreed in the Holy Quran. He said this act of his wife and the respondent was against the teachings of Islam and amounted to committing of Zina under the Offence of Zina (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance 1979, which is a cognizable offense.
In his verdict, Justice Bajwa observes that a Sahih (valid) marriage is free from all sorts of defects and infirmities and is in absolute conformity with the requirements of Shariah.
For a valid marriage, there must be no legal prohibition affecting the capacity of the parties to marry. A marriage that is short of a valid marriage will be termed an invalid marriage. There are two kinds of invalid marriages — irregular and void.
“Irregular marriage is the one where the condition to the validity of such marriage is temporary, while in case of a void marriage, such impediment is permanent,” he added.
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